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Lauren Wade transforms the Masters’ works into modern femme fatales.

Lauren Wade, a Photo Editor, who has worked for the likes of The Style Network and NBC, has photoshopped the works of great artists so that they meet modern standards of ‘beauty’ in the media. In her own words, “[W]e’ve taken a digital liquefy brush to the painstakingly layered oils of some of the most celebrated paintings of the female form, nipping and tucking at will.”

The project has highlighted the contrast between the curvaceous ladies of the Renaissance and the markedly slimmer women of the modern media. Smaller waists, flattened tummies, sculpted bottoms and sharper faces — all imposed onto the women of Raphael, Degas and Botticelli. A surprising effect was that of making the paintings less glamorous and more mundane — a real tell on the images we have been flooded with.

Amedo Modigliani’s Nude Sitting on a Divan, 1917, which shows a pear-shaped woman sat cross-legged in front of a deep red background, is the original. Wade’s retouched version shows a significantly slimmer woman, about a fifth of the original woman’s weight being digitally spliced away from her waist and thighs.

Birth of Venus, Botticelli’s 1456 masterpiece, draws significant attention because it is so well-known. A friend and work colleague of mine was most shocked by Wade’s transformation of Birth of Venus. The stomachs of both female and male subjects have been drawn in and Venus’ breasts have been enlarged and rounded. Lauren herself acknowledges the pseudo-sacrilegious act of working away at these renowned works.

The project seems to have been inspired by a similar project done by Anna Utopia Giordano in 2012.

Comments on the original publication, on TakePart.com, vary. Ranging from users highlighting the unhealthy or unobtainable idea of ‘perfect’ in modern media, to noting the romanticised women of the Renaissance.

Projects such as these bring up big questions: What is perfect? What image should the media pedal, if only one? It is important to question ourselves and analyse our world to ensure the best society – a society that doesn’t hinder. Projects such as these remind us of one of the main definitions of art – a commentary on our world.

Lara Stace, Correspondent (Art)

Image Courtesy: Frank Kovalchek (https://www.flickr.com/photos/72213316@N00/3207219752), Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic | Flickr

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